New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) As a result of bold policy reforms, the total foreign direct investments (FDI) inflow into India reached a new high of $60.08 billion during 2016-17, registering an increase of 8 per cent as compared to the previous fiscal, the government said on Friday.
“The total FDI inflow grew by 8 per cent to $60.08 billion in 2016-17 in comparison to $55.56 billion of the previous year. It is so far the highest for a particular financial year. Prior to this, the highest FDI inflow was reported in 2015-16,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement here.
Increased FDI inflows in the country are largely attributed to intense and bold policy reforms the government undertook to bring pragmatism in the FDI regime, it said.
“Initiatives such as introduction of composite caps in the FDI policy and raising the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval limit were also undertaken to promote ease of doing business in the country,” the ministry said.
“The scale of reforms can be gauged from the fact that during this period, 21 sectors covering 87 areas of FDI policy have undergone reforms. This has resulted in increased FDI inflows which year after year is setting up new records,” the statement said.
The FDI equity inflow received during 2016-17 at $43.48 billion was also the highest so far.
“It shows an increase of 9 per cent compared to 2015-16. India received an FDI of $40 billion in 2015-16,” the statement said.
The FDI equity inflow received through approval route during 2016-17 amounts to $5.90 billion, which is 65 per cent higher than the previous year.
The overall manufacturing sectors have witnessed a tremendous growth of 52 per cent in comparison to 2015-16, from $13.35 billion to $20.26 billion.
The country in the year ending March 2015 received FDI of $45.15 billion as against $36.05 billion in the preceding fiscal.
For retail trading of food products, 100 per cent FDI has been permitted with unqualified condition that such food products have to be manufactured and/or produced in India.
The measure promotes domestic industry, restricts imports, creates local jobs and results in conserving valuable foreign exchange.
In the financial services sector, any financial sector activity which is regulated by any financial sector regulator has been made eligible for 100 per cent FDI under automatic route, and approval would be needed only for unregulated financial sector activities.
During the last financial year, FDI policy reforms were also undertaken in other sectors such as defence, airport infrastructure, broadcasting, animal husbandry and retail trading.
“The intent has been to make the FDI policy more investor friendly and remove the policy bottlenecks that have been hindering the investment inflows into the country,” it said.